Detroit Tigers

News came this week that Ausmus will likely be fired at the end of the season.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone for two reasons. First, with a new GM usually comes a new manager and entirely new staff. Second, the team has terribly underperformed under Ausmus, especially this year where they are competing for worst record in the American League right now.

So the decision shouldn’t surprise you, but much like the Dombrowski firing, the timing is questionable and the way it is going down is terrible.

Apparently this was leaked to the news from a staffer, and the front office is denying just to save face. But I am sure the report is accurate. The question becomes, why did this staffer know? Why did the staffer know before Ausmus? Why did the staffer talk?

0 views
Detroit Tigers

Well, the Tigers are in last place. We haven’t seen that this late in a season since, I dunno when, like, 2004? It is a sad stretch drive for the Tigers. The air is out of the sails and no one is really paying attention anymore.

Here is the worst part, two of the guys they got back in trades that they hoped would be integral to the rotation next year are either injured or getting lit up consistently.

Here is the best part, Verlander is once again dominant in a way we have not seen in at least three years.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

I think most every Tiger’s fan will agree that Nick Castellanos is a rather frustrating player.

First, he came up as the Tiger’s #1 prospect. He was untouchable for years. They shifted his position around just to accommodate him at the big league level (they were able to shift back after the Prince trade). People have been down on him because of his low batting average. People have been down on him because of his defense. But the Tigers keep playing him daily, and when he plays like he has lately, it makes them look kinda smart.

So who is the real Castellanos? Do the stats tell us anything?

We will start with the easy part, his defense. I won’t bore you with too much info because I think it might get boring early. But let’s look at some stats anyway.

This might surprise some of you, but Castellanos is leading the American League in Fielding % at 3B this year, which is exactly why that stat means literally nothing. Basic stats will show us that he generates 2.62 outs per 9 innings while the league average 3B will generate 2.66, probably also surprising that he is so close to average. His total field zone rating estimates that he cost the Tigers 10 runs so far this year and will add 3 more to that total by end of season. This equates to about -1 win in terms of WAR. For comparison 0 is average, and last year he was at a staggering -27 runs, almost -3 wins in WAR.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

Dombrowski wasn’t unemployed very long, was he?

Within two weeks of being fired the Red Sox hired him to be the President of Baseball Operations. He held that position with the Tigers, and well as President of Business, CEO, and GM.

Ben Cherrington, the current GM of the Red Sox will not be returning next year, even though Dombrowski reportedly offered him the position. They just won the World Series in 2013. They just signed a ton of huge money free agent contracts. They are having a terrible season.

I cannot decide which is the bigger knee jerk reaction?

0 views
Detroit Tigers

Well, I don’t really have much to write about this week. The Tigers are playing the type of highly confusing baseball they have played all season. They have next to no chance of making the playoffs for the first time in a long time. And they just sold off a lot of superstar pieces.

We will start there. A lot of people are assuming that Cespedes and possibly Price will automatically come back and play for the Tigers next year. First, you rarely see that happen. Generally, the team that traded the player doesn’t even make a move at season’s end. I would like to see them go after Cespedes particularly, but I just don’t see it happening, unless he is willing to come back at a steep discount. And that leads me to the second point, free agents generally only have an allegiance to whomever pays them the most money or gives them the most years. Very rarely do players make decisions on where they want to play not based on those things. And finally, I don’t see any scenario where Price comes back to this team. If they were going to make a move for a pitcher I think they would have made that move for Scherzer last year, and they didn’t.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

Well this week saw something I have never experienced before as a Tiger’s fan: the Tigers were sellers at the deadline.

I certainly went through plenty of years when the Tigers should have been sellers, but they didn’t have any players good enough to trade. This was the late 90’s early 00’s version of the Tigers. Since 04, the Tigers have been acquiring players via trade, not selling them off.

So this season was significant. It was also significant because it was the first year in the Dombrowski era that the team basically called it a season. They traded their best pitcher. They traded their closer. They traded one of the major pieces of the offense and defense. Basically everything they could move.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

Well, the All-Star Game is on Tuesday July 14th. And they yet again allowed voters to vote in the starters, and they yet again will be playing to determine home field advantage in the World Series. For the record, both of those are terrible decisions.

They did, however, dramatically alter the home run derby this year and I am excited that it will be much shorter. I don’t like that they are implementing a clock though. Baseball is a game without a clock. Couldn’t they think of some way to keep a clock out of it? I have a great idea! You get three swings. Each homer you hit gives you an extra swing. Done. Short and sweet. No clocks! But I do like the bracket system over the previous version and I am excited to see it. It is the best all star game skills competition by far.

I did exercise my right to vote, and I voted at a time when 8 of the starting All-Star positions were occupied by Kansas City Royals players. That was a joke. I try to vote honestly, and I am probably too hard on Tigers players as some form of reverse homerism. I did not vote for a single Royals player. Not because I was revolting against the current situation, but because I didn’t think they deserved it.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

So anyone watching the game last night, or tuning into the game today knows that Miguel Cabrera, possibly the greatest Tiger of all time, is out for the next six weeks. He doesn’t need surgery, which is good I guess. But he might as well get it. Without him, this season is over.

If the Tigers were in first place by a few games, I might be optimistic about their chances of getting through this. If the Tigers were able to score runs consistently, I would be much more optimistic. But neither is the case. This team has the talent to overcome losing Cabrera, but they have yet to put it together this season. No one can really point to why, but a lot of people are pointing to who: Ausmus.

I won’t get into that today, but I just want to talk about Cabrera and what he means to this team.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

Justin Verlander pitches for the first time this season tonight against the Indians.

It should be a time to celebrate. It is not every day that your $28 million a year ace comes off the disabled list. However, everyone at this point, I think, is aware of Verlander’s struggles for the last few years.

Last year Justin had a stat line something like this: 206.0 Innings Pitched, 159 Strikeouts, 104 Earned Runs (the most in the American League), 4.54 ERA, 6.9 Strikeout per 9 Innings Pitched, 1.398 Walks Plus Hits per Inning Pitched, and a 1.1 WAR.

None of those are very good numbers with the exclusion of how many innings he tossed. Some of his advanced metrics show that he might have pitched better than his numbers, including a 3.74 Fielding Independent Pitching ERA.

0 views
Detroit Tigers

I’m not going to run this blog like I ran my sports blog a few years ago, that is, I’m not going to break down everything very heavy in stats to make my point.

Baseball talk will be limited to just that, a chat you have with your friend about baseball. I will throw in some statistical analysis every once in a while to help my sanity, but I won’t go crazy.

So the first couple weeks of the season are coming to a close and the Tigers look like one of the very best teams in the Majors. I don’t think this is a mirage, I think they will finish the season with another trip to the post-season. However, don’t be surprised when the hot streak goes cold for a lengthy time period, much like last year. Although, I don’t think they will repeat that futility either.

0 views